2 Things Set Jesus Apart From Every Religious Leader Who Has Ever Lived

my home is in Heaven Billy Graham

Jesus Christ is different from every religious leader who has ever lived because He is fully God and has the power to forgive us of our sins, the Rev. Billy Graham says.

Graham, who founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said in a Q&A published in the Kansas City Star on Tuesday that although there are many other religious leaders throughout history, Jesus sets Himself apart through his fully God, fully human nature and His ability to grant salvation to sinners.

The evangelical leader explains that while many people are curious about other religions, he believes such inquisitiveness stems from “a hunger for God,” adding that “God wants to satisfy that hunger, and He will if you sincerely seek him.”

Graham goes on to write that there are two main reasons why Jesus is different from other religious leaders.

“He wasn’t just a godly person; He was both fully God and fully man. Think of it: The God who created the whole universe stooped down and took upon Himself our humanity!” the Baptist minister explains.

Additionally, Jesus is different because He has the power to free us from our sins.

“[Jesus] alone made it possible for us to be forgiven of our sins and reconciled to God. Sin separates us from God, and no matter how hard we try, we can’t erase sin’s stain on our souls. But Jesus came to erase it for us, and He did this by becoming the final, God-ordained sacrifice for our sins,” the evangelical leader says.

The Baptist minister points to Hebrews 1:3 as evidence of this: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful Word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in Heaven.”

Graham has spoken on the unique nature of Christianity before, previously writing that the religion not only offers the distinctive gift of redemption, but also carries the truth that Jesus Christ is the only human to die and then be resurrected.

“Something distinguishes Christianity from all the religions of the world,” Graham previously wrote for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. “Not only does [Christianity] carry the truth of the redemption, by the death of our Savior for our sins on the cross, but it carries the fact that Christ rose again.”

“Jesus is the only religious leader in the world to have conquered death,” Graham continued. “Christianity has no shrines to visit, no dusty remains to venerate, no tombs at which to worship. Many good men have lived, and still live, in the memory of those who knew them, but there is only one Man who conquered death — Jesus Christ — and He will live forever.”



Rekindling The Flame Of Ministry

2 Timothy 1:6-7

What do you do when you’ve lost your enthusiasm for ministry? Perhaps difficult circumstances have led to discouragement or frustration. Or maybe you just keep going, but the Holy Spirit seems absent and no fruit is visible. In today’s reading, Paul tells Timothy to “kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you” (2 Tim. 1:6), but how is that accomplished? Over the years, God has taught me what to do whenever I sense that my flame is beginning to flicker.

Refill. Ministry is exciting when we’re filled with the Holy Spirit, but everyone springs a leak now and then. Get on your knees before the Lord and ask Him to refill your heart. Examine your life, repent of any sins, and submit to His leadership in every area of your life.

Refocus. Nothing dims the flame like fixing your eyes on the problem. Whenever we focus on obstacles, they grow larger. But when we shift our eyes to Christ, He becomes bigger than any problem we face.

Reject. When we’re down, the devil whispers lies into our minds: You can’t do this. No one appreciates you. Why not call it quits? We need to recognize all discouraging thoughts as coming from him—and not let them take root.

Retreat. Turn off the phone, electronics, and entertainment, and get away with the Lord to rekindle your intimate relationship with Him.

After going through all these steps, you will be able to return to ministry with new enthusiasm and commitment. Hard circumstances may remain, but you’ll be equipped to handle them because the Spirit’s flame is burning brightly within you. Rely on Him, and He will empower you for service.

Worship of Idols and Demons

“They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.” (Deuteronomy 32:17)

This terrible indictment was in the farewell song of Moses, written just before the tribes of Israel prepared to enter the Promised Land. Perhaps Moses was thinking mainly of the golden calf fashioned by Aaron, who had told the people: “These be thy gods, O Israel” (Exodus 32:4).

Aaron and the people certainly knew that the man-made calf was not “gods,” but they knew that there were many invisible spirit beings in the world and that these “devils” (actually fallen angels) could indwell images made by men as objects of worship. These evil spirits do possess certain powers, which can be used to impress their worshippers with the magical insights and abilities of the images.

This was also a problem in the early church. Paul warned his converts at Corinth: “The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils” (1 Corinthians 10:20). John’s closing word to his own flock was: “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21).

It is a serious problem today—not only in lands where images and animalistic spirits abound but even in the “Christian” West, both in the proliferating New Age cults and in “mainline” churches that have diluted sound Bible teaching with humanism and ritualistic pantheism. And remember, too, that “covetousness” (that is, coveting money, or power, or anything more than the will of God) “is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5). When the prince of these devils himself sought the worship of Jesus, the Lord answered: “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:10). We need to remember and follow His example. HMM

Eternally Unchanging

Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us. —Hebrews 6:17-18

The perfect and the absolute and the infinite God cannot become anything else but what He is….

If you remember that, it will help you in the hour of trial. It will help you at the time of death, in the resurrection and in the world to come, to know that all that God ever was, God still is. All that God was and is, God ever will be. His nature and attributes are eternally unchanging. I have preached about the uncreated selfhood of God; I’ll never have to change or edit it in any way…. I go back over some of my old sermons and articles, and I wonder why I wrote them like that. I could improve them now. But I can’t improve on the statement that God is always the same—He is self-sufficient, self-existent, eternal, omnipresent and immutable. There would be no reason to change that because God changes not. His nature, His attributes, are eternally unchanging.

Thank You, Lord, for the strong consolation and hope that is based upon the immutability of Your counsel and the unchangeableness of Your nature. Amen.

Great Moral Blunder

By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified… This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders. (Acts 4:10-11)

Of all the people on the earth, the nation of Israel surely was the best prepared to receive the Christ of God. The children of Abraham, they were called to be a chosen people in an everlasting covenant with God, the Father.

Yet they failed to recognize Jesus as Messiah and Lord. There is no doubt that theirs was the greatest moral blunder in the history of mankind. He came to His own people and they rejected Him!

Jesus taught frankly that He was asking His followers to throw themselves out on the resources of God. For the multitude, He was asking too much. He had come from God but they received Him not!

It seems to be a comfort to some Christians to sit back and blame and belabor the Jews, refusing to acknowledge that they have information and benefits and spiritual light that the Jews never had.

It is surely wrong for us to try to comfort our own carnal hearts by any emphasis that Israel rejected Him. If we do that, we only rebuild the sepulchers of our fathers as Jesus said!

Self-reliance is inculcated as a moral virtue

Self-reliance is inculcated as a moral virtue, and in a certain sense, with due surroundings, it is so. Observation and experience show that it is a considerable force in the world. He who questions his own powers, and does not know his own mind, hesitates, trembles, falters, fails; his diffidence is the author of his disappointment. The self-reliant individual hopes, considers, plans, resolves, endeavors, perseveres, succeeds; his assurance of victory is one leading cause of his triumph. A man believes in his own capacity, and unless he is altogether a piece of emptiness he gradually convinces others that his estimate is correct.